Do you want return calls from sales prospects? Focus on the personal!

I’ve long championed a simple truth “all business is personal.”  That’s why I believe customer experience is as much about relationship building as it is about product and transactional excellence.

A recent study conducted by Reachable powerfully demonstrates the criticality of relationship building when it comes to gaining access to make sales.  Here’s the big payoff finding of the research:

Personal connections can increase the likelihood of salespeople receiving a call back five-fold and improve sales productivity by more than 240%

Now let’s dive into how that conclusion was drawn….

The data from the Reachable report shows that for every 1000 outbound calls a person makes only 345 are returned if the caller doesn’t have a relationship with the call recipient.  If, however, you have built any type of connection (e.g. a recommendation from someone your recipient knows) you are 5 times more likely to receive a return call. If you actually have a PERSONAL relationship (you have rapport, know them directly, engage them at a level beyond transactional sales) you are 11 times more likely to receive a return call.

Not only do personal relationships drive return calls but they also convert those return calls into sales.

For Every 1,000 Calls Made, 243% More Deals Closed With Connection
No Personal Connection With Personal Connection
Returned calls 345 849
Leads (@20%) 69 168
Deals (@20% closing) 14 34
Source: Reachable, June 2012
You might want to check out this interesting infographic on the Reachable study.

So what are the implications of this study for you and your customer experience?  It seems like “cold call/sales-focused approaches” should be replaced by an interpersonal relationship based model.   When that shift authentically occurs, sales will follow!

Smoke over black background

Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

Leave a Comment


The Starbucks Experience: Leadership Tips eBook
Elevating Care in Healthcare: Lessons from the UCLA Health System eBook
How to Win Every Customer, Every Time, No Excuses! Article